EU politicians ill-informed about e-cigs and white snus

An increasing number of MEPs understand the difference in risk between cigarettes and smokeless nicotine products. At the same time, they are generally poorly informed about the products. This is according to a survey by Tamarind Intelligence.
"We find that informed members are also more likely to believe that e-cigs, nicotine pouches and heat-not-burn are less harmful than smoking products," CEO Tim Andrews told BusinessWire.

For the third year in a row, the Tamarind Intelligence examined how much MEPs know about new nicotine products and their relative risks compared to smoking. 

The overall the result for 2022 shows that 54% of respondents believe that the use of new nicotine products, such as e-cigarettes, nicotine pouches and heat-not-burn, is less risky than smoking. This is an increase from previous years. At the same time, the share of respondents who think that smokeless nicotine sources are more or equally harmful as smoking has decreased to 19 per cent.
25% of MEPs consider that they do not know anything about the risks.

"It will be interesting to see how the members of the Parliament stand on these issues. Not least because they need to take a position in connection with the European tobacco directive, TPD, starting a revision later this year" says Tim Andrews, CEO of Tamarind Intelligence to BusinessWire

Worry begets worry

When it comes to individual products, the answers varied quite a lot. A lack of knowledge about snus and nicotine pouches often leads MEPs to be more uncertain about the risks. At the same time, contextual factors had an impact on how MEPs perceive the risk of harm.

"Those who are worried that the spread of e-cigarettes will lead to more non-smokers using them, or that the use of smoke-free products will lead to more smoking in society, are also more likely to believe that the products themselves are more or as harmful as smoking," the report authors write.

Disposable guns affect

At the same time, the authors suspect that the recent proliferation of single-use cigarettes has also led MEPs who know more about the product category to question the risk of harm.

"11 per cent of those with good knowledge now have doubts about long-term health risks, compared to 4 per cent in 2021," the report authors write.

The report is based on a survey in which 46 MEPs, representing 6 per cent of the European Parliament, chose to answer the following questions

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